Free and fair elections top priority; pledges Raja
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has reiterated government’s resolve to hold free‚ fair and impartial elections in the country on time.
Talking to Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan in Islamabad Tuesday‚ he expressed the confidence that the upcoming elections will further strengthen the democratic process by streamlining the role of state institutions in the polity.
The prime minister appreciated Election Commission of Pakistan for completing all arrangements for holding the General Elections in the country. He appreciated the decision of the Election Commission to ban display of weapons during elections.
Raja Pervez Ashraf assured the Secretary ECP that the government will extend all administrative and logistical support to ECP in order to ensure maximum participation and voter turnout. The Secretary Election Commission informed the Prime Minister that a code of conduct has also been prepared by the Election Commission of Pakistan which prohibits display of weapons during election campaign. The Secretary Election Commission also briefed the Prime Minister that candidates will have to specify the venues of their public meetings and the Election Commission will permit them to hold meetings in consultation with the local administration. Similarly‚ rallies and processions brought out by candidates will have to follow specified routes approved by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister underlined Pakistan has always attached great importance to its time-tested relationship with China and Pakistan-China friendship is an integral part of Pakistan’s for- eign policy. Talking to ambassador designate to China‚ Masood Khalid in Islamabad the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over present trade relations and directed him to work for expansion in trade between the two countries.
The Prime Minister underlined the need to transform the friendship between the two countries into strong business partnership. Raja Pervez Ashraf said we are proud of our excellent relations with China‚ with which we have a strategic partnership. He said our cooperation with China on regional and international levels is exemplary.